Alan Fredericks, vice president and editorial director
of Northstar Travel Media (parent company of Meetings &
Conventions, T&E and Travel Weekly), has been
named to the Travel Industry Association's Travel Industry Hall of
Leaders. TIA president and CEO Roger Dow said, "Few individuals
have had the opportunity to chronicle the progress and fortunes of
our diverse industry over the past four decades and use it as
wisely as Alan Fredericks. Alan has been a steady voice of U.S.
travel and tourism, and his counsel has been an important
ingredient in the growth of this great industry." Travel
Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann, in his nomination
letter, said Fredericks "transformed not only a publication but an
industry... In Alan's current role as vice president and editorial
director, he has mentored journalists at Travel Weekly,
TravelAge West and Meetings & Conventions. It is,
perhaps, in this role that his influence will be most lasting."
Fredericks joined Travel Weekly in 1966 and became managing editor
in 1967. He was named editor in 1972, a position he held until
1997. Fredericks will be inducted at the Travel Industry National
Awards Gala at the Westin Seattle on Oct. 27.
The 485-room Hyatt Regency Los Angeles bowed out of a
lengthy struggle between hotel employee union Unite Here and the
Los Angeles Hotel Employer's Council last Friday when it was
reflagged as the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown. Once new ownership
took over, the property seceded from the LAHEC, an eight-hotel
negotiating body, and signed a union contract that granted Unite
Here's most coveted and contested demand -- a 2006 expiration date.
John Stoddard, general manager of the Grand Wilshire, one of the
seven remaining properties in the LAHEC, addressed a letter to
managers of the other six hotels last week as well, urging them to
sign a 2006 contract with the union. "The union has outmaneuvered
us," Stoddard said when contacted by M&C, "and they've
led us into an '06 contract by default. My fellow council members
are going to have to wake up and accept that. There's no sense in
fighting this any longer."
Members of the 50-year-old Northern California Society
of Association Executives voted to dissolve as a stand-alone
organization and create the NCSAE Network, to be managed by the
American Society of Association Executives. The NCSAE Network will
provide career services plus volunteer and networking opportunities
to its members in the San Francisco area, and will be run by "a
subset" of the current 16-member NCSAE board. "ASAE has pledged to
provide more targeted educational programs and services to meet our
needs," said Mike Mortensson, NCSAE president. "Our desire is to
increase the return on the membership investment through this new
relationship with ASAE."
Taj Hotels is planning a return to U.S. shores with
the acquisition of the management contract for the Pierre in New
York City, a 201-room hotel currently managed by Four Seasons
Hotels & Resorts. While the Four Seasons' contract does not
expire until 2012, a Four Seasons insider told M&C
that representatives from Taj, Four Seasons and the hotel's owners
were currently in talks to decide if Taj Hotels will take over
earlier. The Pierre lost $2 million in the first quarter of 2005.
Several years ago, Taj Hotels went through a restructuring and sold
its two U.S.-owned properties, the Lexington in New York City and
the Executive Plaza in Chicago. It currently operates 56 hotels, 37
of which are in India.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is selling its
landmark Hotel Danieli in Venice to the Statuto Group, an Italian
real estate firm. Under the agreement, Starwood will continue to
manage the 233-room property, which is part of its Luxury
The United States was the top country for association
events in 2004, according to the International Congress &
Convention Association's International Meetings Market 2004 report.
The study was based on ICCA's database of association events that
had a minimum of 50 participants, rotated between three countries
or more and were held at least once every four years. Following the
U.S. were (in order) Germany, Spain, France, the United Kingdom,
the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Japan and Austria.
On May 19, US Airways Group Inc. merged with America
West Holdings Corp. to create the nation's sixth-largest airline,
to be called US Airways. The merger, still subject to the approval
of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court supervising US Airways' Chapter 11
filing, would affect service to more than 200 cities in the U.S.,
Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. "We are seizing this
opportunity to strengthen our business rather than waiting for the
industry environment to improve," said Doug Parker, America West's
chairman, president and CEO. The new airline will be based at
America West's headquarters in Tempe, Ariz. Parker will be CEO, and
the board will be made up of members from both airlines, including
current US Airways chief Bruce Lakefield as vice-chairman.
Hilton Hotels Corp. will
sell 11 properties by year-end, with cash proceeds going to buy
back shares in the company. Analyst Marc Falcone at Deutsche Bank
wrote in a recent investor research report that he expected the
chain to announce the sale of its Chicago Palmer House hotel
shortly, as well as others in the coming months. With the sale of
the hotels, Hilton stands to raise as much as $500 million to $800
Sources say Boyd Gaming Corp. soon will announce plans
to expand the Borgata resort in Atlantic City, which the company
owns together with MGM Mirage. The highlight of the approximately
$350 million expansion will be a new 500-room hotel tower with
additional pools, meeting space and a spa. Construction will begin
in summer 2006 and finish in summer 2007. The Borgata and Boyd
Gaming did not return calls for comment.